Mr Edward T. Kareweh, the General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers' Union of Ghana (GAWU), has commended personnel of the Ghana Police Service in the Oti region for their immense contribution towards the fight against human trafficking.
He noted that since 2007, the police had successfully prosecuted 64 cases of human trafficking and culprits were serving various years of jail terms.
“For 2023 alone, the Police have been able to prosecute 11 cases successfully so far and this is a very impressive success.”
Mr Kareweh in his address to commission and hand over a refurbished office of the Regional Anti-human trafficking Unit to the Ghana Police Service in Dambai, said the Police must be applauded for the success chalked in addressing human trafficking issues.
The office is equipped with a desktop computer, multi-purpose printer, desks and chairs, air conditioner as well as a public address system to enhance activities.
Mr Kareweh said the office and the logistics needed would help the police work without any hindrances.
He noted that GAWU was not only concerned about human trafficking issues through advocacy but also to support the Police service since they were at the forefront of preventing, causing arrest and prosecuting culprits.
Mr Kareweh noted that as a Union, they were also concerned about the economic and social well-being of people and knew that there were vulnerable people in society, especially innocent children who were mostly at the centre of the activities.
He urged the Police officers under the Unit to continue to work hard to help tackle the issues of human trafficking in the Region.
Chief Superintendent Mike Baah, Head of Anti-trafficking Unit, Ghana Police Service, noted that the Oti region was a receiving community which meant a lot of human traffickers used the region as an operational point to carry out their activities.
He said human trafficking was a criminal offence under Human Trafficking Act, 2005 (Act 694) and the Police also proactively established an anti-human trafficking unit to specifically dealt with cases associated with it.
Chief Superintendent Baah said out of the 25 Police regions, 14 had anti-human trafficking regional offices to manage cases while the rest 11 had desks which dealt or referred cases were deemed necessary for support.
He called for institutional and stakeholder support to enable the police dealt with human trafficking issues.
Chief Superintendent Baah noted that inadequate shelters to help the police give rehabilitation services to rescued children before their reintegration into their various communities, was a challenge.
He said the Police Service had been embarking on capacity building for members and had curriculum for senior officers to give them the technical knowledge so they could easily identify human trafficking activities.
Chief Superintendent Baah urged the public to volunteer information to the Police regarding human trafficking and be assured their identities would be protected.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Charles Dormaban, the Oti Regional Police Commander, expressed gratitude to GAWU for the kind gesture and pledged the full utilisation of the items to meet their intended purpose.
Nana Kwaku Beyennor Il, Chief of Dambai, commended GAWU for the office and efforts in fighting human trafficking in the region.
He tasked the Union to see to the proper functioning of the office by engaging relevant
stakeholders to equip and resource the Police in the fight.
The ActionAid Ghana with funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) in collaboration with GAWU is implementing the “Combating Modern Slavery in Ghana” project.
It is aimed at complementing government efforts in eradicating modern slavery which manifest in the form of forced labour, child labour (including worst forms of child labour), human trafficking, debt bondage and unfair contract farming practices.